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In veiled hint, Kerala CM says nobody will be allowed to dent communal harmony

Bishop Mar Joseph Kallaranghatt while addressing a religious congregation in one of the churches in Pala (Kottayam) on September 9 had said Catholic girls and youth were becoming victims of “narcotic jihad” and called out authorities for turning a blind eye towards the matter.
Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that strict action will be taken against those who try to disrupt communal harmony in the state. (ANI PHOTO.)
Published on Sep 17, 2021 12:57 AM IST

Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday said that strict action will be taken against those who try to disrupt communal harmony in the state. His statement assumes significance as the state is witnessing a raging debate over the controversial remark of the Pala Bishop on “narcotic jihad”.

“Kerala is a state known for its secular credentials and amity. We have noticed that some forces are trying to disrupt this. Stringent action will be taken against those elements,” he said while addressing top officials of the state. He asked police not to spare anyone trying to create division in society.

“We will not allow anyone to spoil the communal amity. Such forces will be dealt with sternly,” he said adding people who take to social media to spread hatred will not be spared.

Last week, the CM took cognisance of the Bishop’s statement saying social evils have no religion and it is not proper to put everything into the account of a particular community. He also made it clear that the government will not book the senior religious leader.

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Bishop Mar Joseph Kallaranghatt while addressing a religious congregation in one of the churches in Pala (Kottayam) on September 9 had said Catholic girls and youth were becoming victims of “narcotic jihad” and called out authorities for turning a blind eye towards the matter. Though the opposition Congress criticised the Bishop in strong terms initially, later it toned the criticism down.

Actor-turned politician Suresh Gopi, a BJP Rajya Sabha MP, called on the Bishop and pledged support. “Our meeting was cordial and we discussed all issues,” he said in Pala. Though many religious leaders and intelligentsia asked the Bishop to clear the air saying he was only referring to the social evil (growing use of narcotics among youth) he’s yet to dilute his statement.

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